Random Saturday question: top Potter?

So, assuming you’ve seen more than one of the movie adaptations of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter novels, which one is your favorite? I think mine is probably The Prisoner of Azkaban, directed by Alfonso Cuarón.

That said, I thought part one of The Deathly Hallows was a vast improvement over The Order of the Phoenix and The Half-Blood Prince, both directed by David Yates, who I think kind of sucks. In my opinion, both of his previous films would be confusing to people who hadn’t read the books and unsatisfying to people who had. This one did a nice job of capturing the important plot elements while still being sort of a movie.

Anecdote: a tween-aged girl sitting next to us started sobbing before a really sad thing happened, because she knew it was coming from the book, and, fortunately for her dignity, the movie actually managed to pull the really sad thing off rather nicely. So she wasn’t just crying at something she’d read months ago and could actually have legitimately reacted the same way to the movie’s interpretation.

9 Responses to Random Saturday question: top Potter?

  1. I’m partial to the first two, myself. Did they plod a bit? Maybe, but they actually stayed true to the books.

    I hated the 4th one, it was in fact the last I bothered to see.

  2. Eric Henwood-Greer says:

    I haven’t seen Hallows Part 1 yet, and have only read the first novel, so feel kinda wrong commenting, but… Cuaron’s is by far my fave as well–it has a magical quality I find lacking in most of the others (particularly Columbus’ two films–has there ever been a luckier hack in Hollywood??)

  3. Angela says:

    I’ll say the first couple of films, 100% because Richard Harris was a phenomenal Dumbledore; he was exactly what I pictured in my head when I read the books. My enjoyment of the films took a downward turn when he had to be replaced.

    And oh my god, I almost had a fit of nerd rage in the theater when I saw Order of the Phoenix when they skimped on the Snape flashback scene, especially after I had just finished the 7th book and knew how important that part was.

    • davidpwelsh says:

      All due respect to Michael Gambon, who is a fine actor, but he got the headmaster entirely wrong. I know it’s unfair to compare him to a late legend, of course.

  4. I liked the first move the best, probably because it was when everyone was still cute and innocent. And I just think it’s fun.

    Of course, you haven’t really see the movies until you watched them with rifftrax. I highly recommend it for all of these movies.

  5. Robin B. says:

    Just had to chime in here — Prisoner of Azkaban is still my favorite. So much better as a film (and as an adaptation of a book) in my opinion, plus it had both David Thewlis and Gary Oldman as the best incarnations of those characters we saw in the films. The first two were WAY too stiff and married to the books to be good films, and while the last two had their moments, they never measured up to Azkaban. Then again, to be honest, I think the same of the books — Azkaban remains my favorite of the books too.

    Glad to hear that Deathly Hallows is in the same vein.

    The sad thing about David Yates is that he actually directed the original British miniseries of State of Play, which I adored. Although admittedly I think I adored that more for the writing than for the direction.

  6. Ahavah says:

    I still like the books better, and Goblet Of Fire was always my favorite of the series. It was a game changer in terms of plot, and it added to and improved on the whole concept of a magical world. JK Rowling captured my heart with it. Granted, I was still a wee teenager when I read it, but I could not put it down for a moment!

    The movie adaptation (I saw bits and pieces of it when it aired on TV a few times) seems like a bore. I have high hopes for the “Order of the Pheonix” movie now, though, as I recently saw, enjoyed and was not bored by movies 6 and 7.1. Although I agree that if you don’t remember the details of the books, you tend to get completely lost, especially in key scenes…

    And they cut out Snape’s memory?! Really? That’s just…uggh!

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